CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas— The Southland Conference announced Thursday that the 2020 Southland Baseball Tournament will return to Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas, May 20-23. The home facility of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Texas League affiliate of the American League Champion Houston Astros, will serve as host of the event for the first time since the 2009 and 2010 tournaments were also held at the waterfront ballpark.
“We are very excited to bring the Southland Baseball Tournament back to Whataburger Field,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “We look forward to experiencing the great hospitality and destinations in Corpus Christi and the entire Coastal Bend. Whataburger Field is a premier baseball venue, and I know our tournament participants and fans will greatly enjoy their experience and the facility.”
The top eight finishers in the conference’s regular-season race earn a spot in the Southland Tournament, and the winner of the double-elimination event earns automatic qualification into the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. As many as 15 games can be played at the tournament, with four games scheduled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s schedule depends on earlier tournament results, with one, two or three games in the championship round.
“A decade since the last Southland Tournament at Whataburger Field, we’re thrilled to welcome the eight teams and their fans from across the region back to Corpus Christi for a great week of baseball and summer fun,” Hooks General Manager Wes Weigle said. “The Southland Baseball Tournament is a big-time addition to our schedule, making for a loaded slate of action at Whataburger Field in 2020.”
Completed in 2005, Whataburger Field is the preeminent baseball and entertainment venue in South Texas. The stadium, located at the Port of Corpus Christi, offers sweeping views of Harbor Bridge, the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium across the channel on Corpus Christi Bay. Nicknamed “The Ballpark by the Bay,” Whataburger Field features 19 private suites, the concourse-level Cheniere Champions Club and the recently-renovated CITGO Cotton Club, each available to host gameday and non-gameday events.
The 2020 event will be the 33rd Southland Tournament, played sporadically over the nearly six decades of the Conference’s existence, and every year since 1993. Sam Houston State has won a league-best six Southland Baseball Tournaments, including the 2009 event in Corpus Christi. Lamar, winners of three Southland Tournaments, won the 2010 event at Whataburger Field. McNeese State is the defending event champion after winning its third tournament in 2019.
The Southland Tournament has been a springboard for numerous players that have gone on to Major League careers, including current stars Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn of the Kansas City Royals, Wade Miley of the Houston Astros, Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals, Hunter Pence of the Texas Rangers, and Caleb Smith and Kyle Keller of the Miami Marlins. Also, Charlie Montoyo, a former two-time Southland Hitter of the Year, is the current manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
All games of the Southland Baseball Tournament will be available live on ESPN+, the network’s video streaming subscription service available in the United States.